(updated for 2015) Disneyland Halloween Time, known as Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, begins on September 11th, 2015, and the first Mickey’s Halloween Party takes place on Friday September 25th. I’m excited to share 20 things about Disneyland Halloween Time since our family had such a great experience there awhile back. Disneyland during the holidays is something that shouldn’t be missed by any Disney fan.
It’s important to understand the difference between “Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort” and “Mickey’s Halloween Party”. If you visit the parks anytime between September 11th and November 1st, you’ll experience “Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort”. This includes:
- Beautiful, fun, and festive fall décor all around the Disneyland Resort
- Special food dishes and treats at various eateries around the Resort
- Special holiday makeovers for Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain
- Pumpkin Festival display of carved pumpkins, no two alike, along Main Street
- Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Carnival for villain meet and greet and Disneyland Halloween Time activities
- Some opportunities for villain appearances around the park. We had a GREAT meeting with Cruella De Vil.
- Seasonal tour called the Happiest Haunts Tour is offered (additional fee)
- You can arrange special room packages too!
Mickey’s Halloween Party is a ticketed celebration that requires you to buy an additional ticket. The party takes place in the Disneyland Park on certain 2015 dates (Sept 25, 28, 30, Oct 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31). The tickets are $77-$84 depending on the date of the party if you buy the day of.
- You can save money by purchasing your party tickets online in advance for $69-$84. Annual Passholders can receive a discount on some dates, and Disney Visa card holders can buy discounted tickets to the event. Some party dates do sell out so I recommend advance purchase.
The Mickey’s Halloween Party has a few perks that you will not be able to enjoy at Disneyland Halloween Time unless you pay for and attend the party:
- Party guests can enter the parks three hours before the party starts. This is a good way to save buying an extra day on your ticket (parkhopper) and still enjoy the parks. You’ll receive wristbands that identify you as Mickey’s Halloween Party guests. When the party starts (6pm/7pm) the cast members will begin moving non-party guests out of the park. You’ll have to be ready to show your wristband during this short period.
- Mickey’s Halloween Party has special “treat trails” where your kids (and adults) can load up on goodies. It’s important to understand that these “treat trails” are trails of multiple candy stations. You can ask for healthy snacks too which include apple slices, carrots, and dried fruit. A trail can have something like 5 treat stations, so visiting 5 treat trails could be like visiting 25 “houses”.
- Paint The Night, the dazzling new parade featuring more than one million glowing lights!
Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade is a special Disneyland Halloween parade only presented during the party. It features fun music, great dance performers, and some Disney characters in costumes.
- Halloween Screams fireworks are amazing and only shown during the Mickey’s Halloween Party. If you enjoy fireworks displays, I highly recommend you get a spot in front of the castle (make sure you can see the space to the direct upper left of the castle) to enjoy the show. There are special projections on the castle during this show.
- Special character photo opportunities are offered during the party. This is a great opportunity to get photos with characters you wouldn’t typically see in the parks. Great for those character/autograph hunters.
- Dance party with lively music and great activities for the whole family, along with the chance to eat, drink and be (not so) scary throughout the park.
Are You Ready for Disneyland Halloween?
Final notes & tips based on our experience:
- Lines for treat trails look long, but move fairly quickly. However, the character photo op lines were so long that we chose to skip those.
- Don’t expect to do everything. No matter how hard you go, don’t expect to do all the treat trails, all the characters, all the dance parties, the parade and the fireworks. You’ll have to pick and choose.
- Bring your own treat bag if you want to hit the treat trails…the ones they provide aren’t that large.
- Some of the rides have short wait times later in the night.
- You do not have to be in a costume for the party. Our daughters were in costumes, but William and I did not wear costumes. We did not feel out of place by not being dressed up.
- People have differing opinions about how “busy” the parties are. This depends highly on when you attend (many of the Friday dates are already sold out) and also your own personal definition of “crowded”.
Feel free to ask me any questions about Disneyland Halloween Time and I’ll do my best to answer. Have any of you experienced Disneyland Halloween Time?